SA, Ireland draw in Dublin hockey final

South Africa twice recovered from being a goal down to level the match with seconds left on the clock after both sides looked to dominate but lacked the final touch.

The Irish supporters were confident after South Africa lost 4-2 to their hosts last week in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

South Africa were the first to appear on the score sheet as Justin Reid-Ross buried South Africa's second penalty corner (PC) past Irish goalkeeper David Harte, who was left stranded after a typically powerful finish from the defender.

Ireland hit back shortly after with a set-piece of their own, which was saved off the line but was adjudged to have been off a South Africa foot, resulting in referee John Wright pointing to the spot for a penalty stroke, which John Jermyn netted past South Africa goalkeeper Jacques Le Roux in his first start of the tour.

Neither side looked to take the game to their opponents with most of the first period played between the two areas, but Ireland bagged their second of the evening five minutes before half-time, through yet another PC which was dispatched by defender Brian Doherty to give the hosts the lead at the break.

South Africa started the second half with two PCs shortly after the break but could not beat Harte. The tourists' best chance came 11 minutes into the second period when Ian Haley's effort was saved after clinical touches from Rhett Halkett and stand-in captain Marvin Harper led Haley to the area.

After the match continued in much the same way as it did in the first half with end-to-end action but without any results, Haley eventually did manage to bag his goal shortly after the hour mark when he deflected a PC to send the ball into the roof of the net, leveling the match at 2-2 with six minutes to play.

A frantic last five minutes saw Ireland take the lead for a second time when Michael Watt scored from the restart, sending the Irish crowd into raptures as their side threatened the South Africa defence.

South Africa left it late but a brave effort from Thornton McDade led him to unleash a shot past Harte and into the bottom left corner to draw level once more at 3-3 with 40 seconds left on the clock. – Sapa

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